Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

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math22
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Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by math22 » Sat Aug 20, 2016 9:47 pm

I am planning to drive from DC to Miami with wife and kids (one 3 years old and one 10 months old) during the Christmas/new years break.
We are planning to sleep one night in a hotel somewhere. We will stay 8 days at my wife's parents house and come back also by car.

We are doing this for the flexibility (it is nice to avoid airports during that time of the year), not so much for cost reasons.

Have you done this? Any feedback or recommendations?
Most importantly, am i crazy in doing this?

absolutFinance
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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by absolutFinance » Sat Aug 20, 2016 9:51 pm

500 miles per day with two kids that age seems very optimistic.

I have a 4 year old and a 1 year old and we seem to need to take a break at the 2-3 hour mark.

I'd suggest considering an extra night each way. Flying is way more appealing IMO (though we've only one air travel trips with one kid so far)

Stonebr
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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by Stonebr » Sat Aug 20, 2016 9:55 pm

In the pre-cheap-airfare days everybody did this. I got hauled across the country many times as a toddler. It was probably torture for my parents, but they survived.
"have more than thou showest, | speak less than thou knowest" -- The Fool in King Lear

NorCalDad
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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by NorCalDad » Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:01 pm

If you go through with this, I'd plan on lots of breaks and one extra night each way. And, depending on your comfort with your 3-year-old watching video, plenty of time with an iPad.

If I were you, I'd fly. You and your wife can get TSA PreCheck to have a better chance at avoiding long security lines, and then you'd get priority boarding. Looks like about 2.5 hours nonstop.

moneywise3
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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by moneywise3 » Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:04 pm

I recently did this. Suggest doing 70-30 split. You tend to start late the next morning. Plus you wanna get to your destination not too late in the evening.

JeffAL
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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by JeffAL » Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:05 pm

Get a set of those DVD players that mount on the back of the front seat head rests. Holy cow those are awesome.

JosephineP
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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by JosephineP » Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:07 pm

Ummm... I'm all for the "journey, not the destination" aspiration, but yes, I think you're nuts. Plan on being divorced by the time you reach Richmond. Possibly even Frederickburg, or Springfield, VA. :shock:

The toddler will need to stop frequently, assuming you're keeping up with his/her potty training. I guarantee the toddler's potty breaks will *not* coincide with the baby's feeding schedule, so you'll be stopping frequently, in cold weather, along the I-95 corridor, bundling and unbundling everyone as you get into and out of the car.

If it were me, I'd fly BWI to Fort Lauderdale to avoid the nuttiness of Reagan National and Miami International. Book now, get all your seats together in one row (infant will be a lap child, I assume.) I love JetBlue for this route.

Have you talked to your wife about this?

gkaplan
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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by gkaplan » Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:09 pm

math22 wrote:I am planning to drive from DC to Miami with wife and kids (one 3 years old and one 10 months old) during the Christmas/new years break.
We are planning to sleep one night in a hotel somewhere. We will stay 8 days at my wife's parents house and come back also by car.

We are doing this for the flexibility (it is nice to avoid airports during that time of the year), not so much for cost reasons.

Have you done this? Any feedback or recommendations?
Most importantly, am i crazy in doing this?

You're crazy.
Gordon

wanderer
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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by wanderer » Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:10 pm

Yes, it's quite doable, but you need to know your children's tolerance for sitting in the car as well as yours to know how to schedule breaks.

Find activities and snacks that fit your toddlers - Activity books, singalongs, Eye-spy or other sight seeing games might work. Be flexible for the 10-month old. Anticipate stopping every 2 hours or so. Find places to stop that allow you and your toddler to stretch/run around. Find a hotel with a pool or other desirable activity as something to look forward to. Drive at night if you can while the children are sleeping.

A few local practice runs might help figure out what works. Sorry to admit, but a minivan works better than a small sedan too.

We did it annually from the time our kids were 2 months old through their teenage years when they got to drive. Our kids do it now, and we have done a few with the grandkids. Most were 1200+ miles to South Dakota (family farm) in the winter for Christmas.

health teacher
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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by health teacher » Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:12 pm

3-4 hours as soon as you get up. Break for hour or so for lunch and then get another 3-4 hours in during nap time. A tablet with games and movies for the tot will ease the pain as well. Keep your expectations low. We've traveled numerous times with our 3 and 1 year old. Bring bags of little toys to keep them occupied. Snacks too.

Make sure the driver stays focused at all times. It's easy to get distracted with trying to calm the kids down in the back.

wanderer
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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by wanderer » Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:18 pm

Just to say what might be crazy..

Our three kids rented a van to drive 800 miles each way to surprise their grandmother on her birthday or a long President's Day weekend. Three adults, 5 kids, age 3-10, and a cat. They took a day of vacation (4 days total) and split the driving so they could drive overnight.

Still on good terms with each other too!

Despite all the negativity on this forum - it can be done!

denovo
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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by denovo » Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:30 pm

math22 wrote: Most importantly, am i crazy in doing this?
It's definitely a stupid idea.
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

squirm
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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by squirm » Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:35 pm

Rent a car, that way if it was the worst trip ever, leave the car and fly back.

hcj
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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by hcj » Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:48 pm

My only tip is to drive at night as much as possible while kids are asleep.

how many hours is 1000 miles? Two 8-hour days? You can do it. Run them ragged then drive from 4pm to midnight, hopefully they fall asleep by 6pm and you have six hours of blissful silence and no traffic.

sport
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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by sport » Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:49 pm

Many years ago, we took a 5000 mile trip with a 1-year old and a 3-year old. I do not recall any problems. We put a Coleman cooler on the back seat between the two car seats. Each child had their toys and they used the cooler as a play surface. We traveled from Ohio to Yellowstone, then to Salt Lake City where we stopped for a week. We continued South and saw the Grand Canyon, and came back to Ohio via a more southern route than we took going out. We saw the Badlands, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Arches National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, and a variety of other interesting places. It was a 3-week trip altogether. So, it can be done.

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camillus
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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by camillus » Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:54 pm

Here's what I recommend. Understand I work nights as an RN and am superhuman.

Load the kids into the car wearing their PJs right after they take a bath during their bedtime routine. Drive through the night. Get a good nap beforehand because you'll be the only one awake with coffee and 1 earbud in with an audiobook. Drive as long as you can. If you can't make it, get a hotel the next day, sleep for a few hours, and get back on the road. Stop/switch drivers if you feel unsafe.

itstoomuch
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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by itstoomuch » Sat Aug 20, 2016 11:04 pm

Crazy.
As senior citizens, we won't drive the 210 miles to Seattle to see son. If the traffic just right, we have done it in 3.5 hours. If traffic is bad, it's 8 hours and we are headed to divorce court and have spent considerable $ on food and stretch breaks. We take the train and either sleep, surf internet, or head up to the club car and eat our home prepared food with real utensils. Train is 3x cash price over auto cash fuel price. Four trains daily, $68/person, RT, adults, advance purchase.

Amtrak with two trains from WAS to MIA, rt, for 2 adults, 1 child, 1 infant =~$715RT fare, Dec 22-Dec 29. About 29 hours.

Book early whatever you do.
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fourkids
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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by fourkids » Sat Aug 20, 2016 11:17 pm

sounds like hell. at age 3, my kids were at the height of carsickness. So, with all the stops the kids will need, it sounds like about 20-24 hours of driving. 10 month old is too young to be entertained by endless dvds.
try in a couple years when the kids are older.

buy 3 seats on American for $400 each, direct flight DC to MIA. baby sits on lap. so easy. we travel with 4 kids through airports. It used to be fairly easy with 2 kids. A 2.5 hour flight beats a 24 hour drive any day in my book.

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Watty
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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by Watty » Sat Aug 20, 2016 11:20 pm

One thing that will help is if you leave right after work on the first day and get a couple of hundred miles in before stopping that night. You can also stop each night away from large cities so you will not have a morning rush hour problem.

For example if you have to work through Friday then leave Friday night not Saturday morning. Likewise when you get near your destination you can stop a couple of hundred miles short of the destination and still be there before lunch the next day.

That would mean that instead of trying to drive 500 miles on both Saturday and Sunday and arriving late Sunday you would drive;

Friday evening: 200 miles
Saturday: 300
Sunday: 300
Monday morning: 200.

Except for Friday night I would not make hotel reservations ahead of time so that you can decide just how far to drive late in the afternoon each day and if things go well you might get there on Sunday.

That would add a couple of nights in hotels but you would be a lot more relaxed.

curmudgeon
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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by curmudgeon » Sat Aug 20, 2016 11:43 pm

We did plenty of roadtrips with our kids. Different modes work for different families. We had some sets of activities, kids books and books on tape. My wife did a couple of pretty long trips with just the kids (about 1,3,5 at the time); south Forida to New Brunswick, and south Florida to California, and arrived with sanity intact. For multi-day trips, the routine was: get up about 5:30 am and move the kids straight to the car, drive for three hours with the kids mostly asleep and then stop for breakfast. Drive two hours and stop at a playground, mall, or other place where they can be active for 30 minutes. Another two hours and lunch, then another two hours and stop in mid-afternoon, preferably someplace with a pool or other exercise and play options. Repeat for as many days as it takes. As they get a bit older, you can look up lots more options for interesting stops along the way.

Katietsu
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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by Katietsu » Sat Aug 20, 2016 11:51 pm

My plan would be to be sure the toddler had a busy day. Eat dinner and get in PJ's. Have a video ready. Put in as many hours as the adults feel they can handle. (Of course, I am one of those people who gets more productive as the evening goes on.) Get a hotel with a pool appropriate for the toddler to use up some energy before starting on the rest of the trip. If possible, one parent and the baby sleep while the rest of the family is swimming and eating. Finish the drive. In the areas where the weather is pleasant enough, identify outdoor parks and playgrounds along the route. Otherwise, McDonalds lets you search for locations with a PlayPlace.

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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by Ron Ronnerson » Sun Aug 21, 2016 1:23 am

We have a two-year-old and have taken a bunch of road trips with her starting at the age of 6-months. The most we have driven in a day is 6 hours and I thought that was pushing it (it became 8 hours with stops). For anything longer, we break it into a two-day drive. Based on the ages of your kids, 1000 miles in two days is too much in my opinion. A DVD or iPad with apps loaded on it can get you some time with the 3 year old but they're not exactly appropriate for a 10-month old baby.

Traveling in the winter with young kids is also testing your luck. One time while traveling through some hills with our daughter during December, we just barely missed a storm that ended up closing the road for a good while. If we'd gotten a half-hour later start to our day, it would have been bad.

Personally, I think flying might be best given the distance involved and the ages of your kids. However, you know your children best and maybe they can handle it. I wouldn't do it, though.

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TxAg
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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by TxAg » Sun Aug 21, 2016 4:47 am

We're doing 300 miles in October. Kids will be 2 1/2 and 4
months. That 4 1/2 drive will be more like 6+.

Last time we did it my daughter was 9 months, and we left in the evening. She slept the whole way which was nice.

Trying to do 500/day two days in a row would be tough....and then do it all over again in a week.

orlandoguy
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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by orlandoguy » Sun Aug 21, 2016 5:30 am

Consider Amtrak's AutoTrain...non-stop overnight from Lorton, VA to Sanford, FL (just north of Orlando). Your car comes with you. Wide variety of accommodations ranging from coach seats (which I would not recommend for your trip) to several types of cabins. May be quite expensive over the holidays, but I highly recommend it.

detroitbabu
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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by detroitbabu » Sun Aug 21, 2016 5:47 am

Why not try Amtrak? Granted it will take 24 hours but you will need that much time by car too.

carolinaman
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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by carolinaman » Sun Aug 21, 2016 6:15 am

What you suggest is very doable but challenging due to traveling with small children. I do not get all the negativity of others posting on this question. I-95 gets super crowded during holidays. Try to pick travel days that are not the peak during that time. Travel will be slower than normal due to holiday traffic and having 2 young children with you.

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bottlecap
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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by bottlecap » Sun Aug 21, 2016 6:25 am

My advice is have a plan B involving another possible stay at a hotel. It's possible you won't need it, but it will take you at least 20% longer with the kids to make your drive. And you might need the rest.

You might also look into an extra car seat cover. You will likely have at least one blowout from at least one of the kids. And shortly after you stop for gas and get on a 12 mile stretch of road without exits, your 3 year old will also announce that he or she has to go potty immediately...

Good luck,

JT

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mrc
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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by mrc » Sun Aug 21, 2016 6:34 am

Might work OK, might not. With breaks (pets not kids) we plan on an average speed of 50. That's 10 hours on the road each day, minimum. Could be a lot more. We traveled from DC to Atlanta over Memorial day weekend. On the way home it was 6 hours from just south of Richmond to the VA/MD border because of weather and traffic -- at a time when we were completely beat. MTBF for traffic x bad weather x long two-day trip x toddler x baby is not good. That trip at that time of year could be a challenge for two adults and two older kids. We have even done "the holidays" in the spring with better weather and less crowding. You'll need everything to work in your favor.

Under these conditions, I would only plan to drive if there were no alternative. OP, if you do this, please report back how it went. And so that we all know you survived!
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TRC
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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by TRC » Sun Aug 21, 2016 6:36 am

Our kids are older (ages 6 and 9), but we did a 14 hour road trip his past April from mass to the outer banks. We drove 10 hours the first day and 4 the next. iPads and lots of movies kept everyone entertained. A 10 month old is a wild card though. Good luck!

Rodc
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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by Rodc » Sun Aug 21, 2016 6:38 am

Toddler will likely need a break every couple of hours. Stop at a rest area and play chase me or something. Maybe rotate seats. My mom would not drive on the highway so when we did this as a kid dad drove. Stopped every couple of hours, got out ran around for 10 minutes, everybody shifted one seat over, front passenger to back passenger, back passenger to back driver side, etc. We had a three row big old station wagon and 4 kids so the far back was in rotation too. We did this as a family with 3 kids and no far back seat. Worked pretty well. Nowadays, you have electronic games. With my kids we did not use videos, but rather talked, sang songs, etc., but how well that works will depend on family and also how much e-media the kids use at home.

Personally, for something this long I would just fly and rent a car when I got there. Not only so much easier but you waste a lot less time.

My sister did a number of long trips with small kids and her approach was to leave at 9pm and drive all night. Straight shot but somewhat shorter trips, very long one day, not two. Not everyone has the stamina for that, but the kids sleep through the vast majority of the trip.

Have done the Christmas trip Boston to DC several times. As others have noted the traffic around holidays can be brutal. Christmas day itself is light, but you likely want to be there on Christmas day. At least it is not Thanksgiving which is worse because traffic then is compressed into fewer days.

Idea of the train, including autotrain is worth considering. Years ago when I lived in the DC area that was very popular.

A lot will depend on how well your kids travel. With some kids this will be fairly easy. With others it will be a nightmare.
Last edited by Rodc on Sun Aug 21, 2016 7:03 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Rodc
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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by Rodc » Sun Aug 21, 2016 6:46 am

hcj wrote:My only tip is to drive at night as much as possible while kids are asleep.

how many hours is 1000 miles? Two 8-hour days? You can do it. Run them ragged then drive from 4pm to midnight, hopefully they fall asleep by 6pm and you have six hours of blissful silence and no traffic.
I like 4am to noon better, though with breaks it might be more like 2pm. Or even 3am for the start. Then they get to use the hotel pool for a couple of hours, and get to bed at their normal time and so stay on a semi-normal schedule.
We live a world with knowledge of the future markets has less than one significant figure. And people will still and always demand answers to three significant digits.

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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by TheOscarGuy » Sun Aug 21, 2016 7:44 am

math22 wrote:I am planning to drive from DC to Miami with wife and kids (one 3 years old and one 10 months old) during the Christmas/new years break.
We are planning to sleep one night in a hotel somewhere. We will stay 8 days at my wife's parents house and come back also by car.

We are doing this for the flexibility (it is nice to avoid airports during that time of the year), not so much for cost reasons.

Have you done this? Any feedback or recommendations?
Most importantly, am i crazy in doing this?
The 10 month old will be 1 yr and 2 months then, which is still not an age for long journeys in my opinion. Their seat is still facing backwards and its an awkward position to be traveling as it is. A total 14+ hrs of journey is, in my mind, too much for such a young age.

DTSC
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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by DTSC » Sun Aug 21, 2016 8:03 am

Have iPad will travel.

iPad = Kiddy Crack

2tall4economy
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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by 2tall4economy » Sun Aug 21, 2016 12:56 pm

A few months back my wife and I did 1,500 miles with. 3 year old and a 2 month old and prior to that we've flown 12+ hours internationally with multiple hops with the older kid (from his ages 6 months up through 3 years).

We did it because we had to; we were relocating and needed a car full of stuff for the house before our shipment arrived and we needed to get our car up there.

Some things I learned:

Having a late potty trainer in the older one was a major blessing. No potty stops.

iPad with pre downloaded videos (paw patrol in our case) was nearly as good as internet in the car.

Baby stops for feeding were biggest issue.

Even with all that favor ability we could only do 3-4 hours, break and another 3-4 hours. Took 4 days.

Fly.
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Shallowpockets
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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by Shallowpockets » Sun Aug 21, 2016 1:34 pm

Wow!
Suggestions include stopping every 2-3 hours for the kids. That is not even a tank of gas. Plenty of added time there in an overall trip. Those miles will seem like 2000 miles. And take as long.
Another suggestion was drive at night. What! That has got to be an added danger. Especially considering another note on the traffic on I-95. In the winter and the holidays.

Sure, it can be done. Just like kids used to walk to school. But, who does it now? No one.
Maybe the family you are visiting could come to you. Your wife's parents could fly and visit you easier. Much easier. Less disruption all around. Because with kids those ages you sure are not getting together to go sightseeing.
Even if you paid for the tickets it would come out to your advantage. Just think of the packing you will be doing to make this road trip.

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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by bengal22 » Sun Aug 21, 2016 1:39 pm

I would have a family meeting just prior to the trip and explain to the toddler and the baby what your plan is and how much you would appreciate their cooperation. I think with some frankness the trip will go swimmingly.
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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by bottlecap » Sun Aug 21, 2016 1:50 pm

bengal22 wrote:I would have a family meeting just prior to the trip and explain to the toddler and the baby what your plan is and how much you would appreciate their cooperation. I think with some frankness the trip will go swimmingly.
Okay. That's funny. I admit it.

P.S. My wife suggests getting a few toys from the Dollar Store and wrapping them up. Give them to the kids every so often to keep them entertained.

(What can I say. It's a slow Sunday!)
Last edited by bottlecap on Sun Aug 21, 2016 1:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

emoore
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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by emoore » Sun Aug 21, 2016 1:51 pm

I drive a 1000 miles with kids at least once a year. Now that they are older (8 and 10) its much easier but I used to do it when they were 3. Straight through too. It's not that bad especially if don't mind driving. Don't let others fear of driving sway you if you really want to drive. I find it fun.

imsomeguy
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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by imsomeguy » Sun Aug 21, 2016 1:54 pm

We did a road trip this summer with a 4 & 2 year old ... here are some tips

- pack most if not all of your food/meals and stop at rest stops and eat your sandwiches/snacks. If you have to order food from a place it will usually be unhealthy and always seems to add an extra 30 minutes to the stop
- bring a soccer ball or some bubbles so when you stop at the rest stop so the kids can run around a bit
- I loaded the ipad with tons of movies and then used [url]hhttps://www.amazon.com/LilGadgets-CarBuddy-Univ ... B0153WK39M[/url] to connect to the headrest, the kids also have these headphones that daisy chain to each other https://www.amazon.com/LilGadgets-Conne ... B00PUZRKXK
- i downloaded a bunch of worksheets to allow the older one to trace numbers/letters and stuff like that http://www.k5learning.com/
- wife also went to the dollar store and bought small gifts that they could unwrap and kept them occupied for 10 minutes (sunglass croakie thing was the big hit)
- wife also went on pinterest and looked up small games & crafts (take a colander and have the little one put pipe cleaners through hole) it works for a bit, but these sometime need help of the parents so I'm not sure what type of car you have

best advice, if the kids are sleeping drive like the wind. I don't care what stop you had planned or if an adult needs to go to the bathroom, you keep driving ... fast

Church Lady
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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by Church Lady » Sun Aug 21, 2016 2:40 pm

As one who drives after 9 PM fairly often, I'd be cautious about counting on a late night drive.

- The usual: reduced visibility, driver fatigue on your part ... and for other drivers on the road, too.
- At that time of year, temperatures drop at night, leaving wet roads subject to freezing and black ice
- It's hard to find a place open late to get coffee, drinks
- It's hard to find a restroom stop at that time of night. Basically when I see an open place, I stop because the next one might be too late, if you know what I'm trying to say :D. And with kids? I don't know ... you know your kids better than we do.

You can deal with the last two by joining AAA and requesting a Trip Tik, which will show you all the possible rest stops and meal stops. In fact, I'd recommend joining AAA even if you are driving only during the day. It's worth it for the Trip Tik and maps alone, and you have someone to call 24/7 if you break down.

Good luck!
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Rodc
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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by Rodc » Sun Aug 21, 2016 3:33 pm

best advice, if the kids are sleeping drive like the wind. I don't care what stop you had planned or if an adult needs to go to the bathroom, you keep driving ... fast
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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by jjface » Sun Aug 21, 2016 3:38 pm

Don't do it. Not fair on anyone. You'll need to stop often for one. Do you really want your very young kids glued to ipads and dvds? Values today are shocking.

I can't believe how some think going 4 hours in one go is doable - they must have easy sleepy kids or something

Going by plane is better but still I'd ask your wife's parents up to your house.
Last edited by jjface on Sun Aug 21, 2016 3:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jjface
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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by jjface » Sun Aug 21, 2016 3:45 pm

best advice, if the kids are sleeping drive like the wind. I don't care what stop you had planned or if an adult needs to go to the bathroom, you keep driving ... fast
Sounds like yet another accident waiting to happen. You drive as carefully as you normally would at the normal speed realizing you have precious cargo on board and others driving around you do too. Postponing stops is fine as long as the women in the car are saying it is okay :)

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lthenderson
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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by lthenderson » Sun Aug 21, 2016 3:53 pm

I've done such a trip every year for a decade. Kids are now aged ten and three. I install a toy box between their seats (in our minivan) so they have access to lots of things while they drive. We also take a well stocked snack box so they can munch whenever they are hungry or bored. I typically let them stay up as late as they want to with my wife the night before we leave and then we get up very early before sunset and can usually get in four hours off the bat before they even wake up. We take breaks during the day to let them run around and use up energy and then try to get in several hours in the evening when they are again asleep.

When the kids are younger, it is much harder but one of the tricks we do is to strip them down to a diaper and let them draw on themselves with washable markers. It is good for many hours of entertainment and then we just throw them in a hot bath when we reach our destination.

CedarWaxWing
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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by CedarWaxWing » Sun Aug 21, 2016 3:54 pm

Have the parents visit you...

Rodc
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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by Rodc » Sun Aug 21, 2016 3:59 pm

Shallowpockets wrote:Wow!
Suggestions include stopping every 2-3 hours for the kids. That is not even a tank of gas. Plenty of added time there in an overall trip. Those miles will seem like 2000 miles. And take as long.
Another suggestion was drive at night. What! That has got to be an added danger. Especially considering another note on the traffic on I-95. In the winter and the holidays.

Sure, it can be done. Just like kids used to walk to school. But, who does it now? No one.
Maybe the family you are visiting could come to you. Your wife's parents could fly and visit you easier. Much easier. Less disruption all around. Because with kids those ages you sure are not getting together to go sightseeing.
Even if you paid for the tickets it would come out to your advantage. Just think of the packing you will be doing to make this road trip.
What does the size of the gas tank have to do with how long a child can sit still without some activity? :confused

As to night driving - you have to know yourself. My sister is a driving machine. It worked fine for her, despite what other people who are not driving machines think. My dad was also a driving machine. Personally it would not work for me - I am a fine driver but not a driving machine. Leaving at 4 am and stopping mid afternoon works much better for me.

As to the driving like the wind comment above, yes, one should always drive at a safe speed. But trying to skip stops if possible to get in as many miles as you reasonably and safely can is a good idea.

Comments about winter are good too. I had not factored that in. What are you going to do if you are down there and a storm hits? If you have the option of just waiting a week fine. But if you really need to get home and back to work or something that could be problematic.

When the kids are younger, it is much harder but one of the tricks we do is to strip them down to a diaper and let them draw on themselves with washable markers. It is good for many hours of entertainment and then we just throw them in a hot bath when we reach our destination.
Very cool. :)
Last edited by Rodc on Sun Aug 21, 2016 3:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Rupert
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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by Rupert » Sun Aug 21, 2016 3:59 pm

Whether you can do this totally depends on your kids and how they travel. One of mine once screamed for 4 straight hours in the car. 4 straight hours! :( We tried again a couple of years later and learned that she does best when we stop every 2 hours or so and let her run off some energy. We locate parks and playgrounds along our route for that purpose. It makes for very very long trips. Our other kid? No problem. Even as a baby, that kid would be happy as a clam just looking out the window.

Whatever you decide to do, don't try to drive through the night with your kids in the car. It's so much more dangerous than daytime driving. Traffic deaths are three times greater at night. See http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowled ... night.aspx

anonforthis
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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by anonforthis » Sun Aug 21, 2016 4:02 pm

We drove 1900 miles with 2 toddlers last year. We took off at 7pm after dinner and bath. Kids slept for 12 hours straight. We did not bring any electric gadgets with us. My husband doesn't like small children playing with iPad or watching Tv so we just talked a lot. It was a very fun trip. We are going to do it again this year.

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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by furnace » Sun Aug 21, 2016 4:31 pm

mspadorchard wrote:Have the parents visit you...

An idea worth considering, and Miami in the winter is quite warm, so Zika mosquitoes would be active. No one needs a bite, esp. the baby.
The drive back is worse, in my opinion. So many things can go wrong in either direction - weather, traffic, speeding tickets, vehicle breakdown.

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dm200
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Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Post by dm200 » Sun Aug 21, 2016 4:41 pm

Can't speak about the baby, but we did such auto travel several times a year when our son was that age. Many people also told us we were crazy.

It went well for us, primarily because our son generally traveled well - whether is was auto or plane. He liked it. A few years later, it got even better when we got a minivan and he could see out the window.

It also got even better after we did not have to stop for diaper changes.

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